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Module 1 – Case


Assignment Overview

Philip Morris is the nation’s largest tobacco company and sells leading cigarette brands such as Marlboro and Virginia Slims. While the health risks of smoking are well known, selling cigarettes has traditionally been considered a safe and profitable business to be in.  However, more and more restrictions are being placed on smoking and people are becoming more health conscience.  Furthermore, many smaller companies have begun selling e-cigarettes.  E-cigarettes allow users to inhale nicotine without the health risks associated with inhaling smoke into the lungs.

Philip  Morris has been researching and test marketing “safer” cigarettes for decades, and very recently decided to go ahead with a new e-cigarette under the brand name Marlboro HeatSticks.  Unlike competing e-cigarette brands, the HeatStick will use some tobacco to give their vapor a taste closer to a real cigarette.

Review the background materials on product management with a close attention to the Pearson tutorial on products and services, Richardson and Gosnay (2011) and Paley (2007).  Then do some research on Philip Morris and the e-cigarette market.  Here are some articles to get you started:

Felberbaum, M., & Tobacco, A. (2014, Jun 26). Philip Morris Int’l to sell Marlboro HeatSticks. El Paso Times [Proquest]

Felberbaum, M. (2013, Nov 21). Philip Morris eyes electronic cigarette market. Daily Gleaner[Proquest]

Case Assignment

When you have finished reviewing the background materials and doing some research on Philip Morris and e-cigarettes, write a four- to five-page paper that addresses the following questions:

  1. What type of product is Philip Morris’ HeatStick?  Use the terminology from the background materials to classify this product, and pay close attention to the “Classification of products” and the “Different types of new products” sections of Chapter 5 of Richardson and Gosnay (2010)
  2. At what stage of the product life cycle are the traditional cigarette and the e-cigarette respectively, and what implications should this have for Philip Morris’ marketing strategy?  Refer to the stages of the product life cycle as explained in Richardson and Gosnay (2010) and Paley (2007). 
  3. Which stages of the new product development process do you think will be most crucial to the success of the HeatStick?  Explain your reasoning, and refer to either the eight stages of the new product development process in Richardson and Gosnay (2010) or the six phases discussed on pages 158-161 of Paley (2007).

Assignment Expectations

  • Answer the assignment questions directly.
  • Stay focused on the precise assignment questions, don’t go off on tangents or devote a lot of space to summarizing general background materials.
  • Make sure to use reliable and credible sources as your references. Articles published in established newspapers or business journals/magazines are preferred.  If you find articles on the internet, make sure it is from a credible source.
  • Reference your sources of information with both a bibliography and in-text citations. See the Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper, including pages 13-14 on in-text citations. Another resource is the “Writing Style Guide”, which is found under “My Resources” in the TLC portal.
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